The workload, or energy expenditure
The workload or calories expended represents the energy expended by the horse during each session. The information is displayed in the application within each session and throughout the week.
How is the data calculated?
To calculate this value we take into account 2 different measurements:
- Weight (which is why it is important to put it in the app)
- Heart-rate during the training
The fact that the heart rate is taken into account explains why some sessions sometimes required a lot of energy from the horse while the rider considered it as a small session: the horse's stress, or physical problems (respiratory or cardiac difficulties) increase the heart rate, thus increasing the energy expenditure.
What are the normal values?
Here are some values on a weekly basis:
- Light work or Return to work --> <5000 kcal
- Regular training --> 10000 kcal
- Physical preparation --> 15000 kcal
- Intensive work --> 17000+ kcal
The goal must therefore be personalized according to the age of your horse, the discipline, the level of training...
At the scale of the session, we consider the following benchmarks:
- <1000 kcal → Very small session
- between 1000 and 2000 kcal → small session
- between 2000 and 3000 kcal → normal session
- between 3000 and 4000 kcal → heavy session
What is the purpose of energy expenditure?
The energy expenditure allows to :
- Become aware of the real difficulty of the sessions as perceived by the horse
- Compare the weeks of training and anticipate events (competitions, ...)
- Control the weekly training load without under-training or over-training the horse
- Adapt the feed ration> 4000 kcal → Very heavy session
How should I divide the workload during the week?
Depending on how much you work and your goals, the workload indicator will help you plan your week, or even your entire season! If you're interested, you can read our blog article "HOW TO PLAN YOUR HORSE'S TRAINING FOR THE ENTIRE SEASON" which goes in details about a method you could use.
There is no ideal workload. It is important to adapt the training to the horse's physical abilities and then gradually increase it!! A sudden increase would be harmful.
As for the distribution of workload through out the week, a daily training session is highly recommended while days of complete box rest are highly inadvisable. Adapt the workload so you can avoid days of box rest followed by big training sessions.